Although heroin is an illegal drug, thousands of people suffer from an addiction to this drug. A user injecting the substance is an image that movies have made famous in the mainstream. But those struggling with addiction also snort and smoke it. Would you be able to pinpoint heroin addiction symptoms in a friend or loved one?
Understanding the Scope of the Drug’s Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that millions of Americans, some as young as 12 years, have used heroin. Among users, there is a 23% addiction rate. In other words, of individuals who use it once or occasionally, almost a quarter will develop a dependence on the substance. Recognizing the symptoms of addiction can make the difference between enabling it and empowering a person to seek help.
Typical Heroin Addiction Symptoms
Although everyone responds differently to heroin use, there are signs and symptoms of addiction that transcend age groups, gender, and overall health. These include:
- Inability to stop using. Even though someone struggling with addiction realizes that he or she is incurring health problems, financial ramifications, and interpersonal consequences related to heroin use, he or she can’t stop. While he or she may try stopping at home, the discomfort of withdrawal frequently gets too intense for successful recovery.
- Physical manifestations. After taking the drug, users pupils constrict and their eyes may begin to water. You might notice a loved one repeatedly scratching his or her arms or legs. A sudden drowsiness replaces previous actions of nervousness or restless behaviors. Users seem to be space out and are unable to carry on a conversation without losing their train of thought.
- Development of diseases. Someone struggling with an addiction to heroin may continue substance use even after he or she receives a diagnosis of even severe health problems. Examples include pneumonia, kidney disease, hepatitis B, and liver disease. Look for skin lesions and infections where injection wounds didn’t heal. Frequent nosebleeds may occur among users who snort the drug.
- Emotional roller coaster. If you worry about a loved one’s sudden personality changes, you may be facing drug use symptoms. When someone’s mood abruptly swings from severe depression to sudden euphoria or from anxiety to abrupt relaxation, a substance may be to blame for the changes. Beyond these signs, you may notice that a person becomes increasingly delusional or shows evidence of paranoia.
Why is it so Hard to Stop Using Heroin at Home?
You would think that the combination of adverse health effects alone should be enough to cause someone to stop using heroin. Plenty of people try to quit. They do so at home, cold turkey, and without telling anyone. However, when withdrawal symptoms occur – they include severe cramping, gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, and heart palpitations – the person struggling with the drug use gives up.
Stop Using Heroin Today with Professional Help
Whether you recognize the list of heroin addiction symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it is possible to halt the drug use today. With the help of a dedicated group of professionals, someone suffering from drug addiction can quit using the substance. Call Crestview Recovery today at 866.262.0531 and change your life!